Zas met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. According to an unusually short Armenian readout of the meeting, he briefed Pashinian on the work of a CSTO fact-finding mission led by him.
Zas last week inspected some of the sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border where heavy fighting broke out late on September 12. He was due to meet with Pashinian during that trip.
The meeting did not take place, however, fuelling media speculation that Pashinian snubbed the CSTO head because he was upset with a lack of support for Armenia shown by the military alliance of Russia and five other ex-Soviet states. Officials in Yerevan and Moscow blamed its cancellation on a scheduling conflict.
Pashinian flew to New York on September 21 for an annual session of the UN General Assembly. Zas arrived in Yerevan the previous evening.
Armenia appealed to the CSTO for military aid just hours after the outbreak of the large-scale hostilities. The other CSTO member states effectively declined the request, deciding instead to send to fact-finding missions tasked with studying the situation on the ground and submitting policy recommendations.
Armenian officials criticized the bloc’s reluctance to openly side with Yerevan. Addressing the UN General Assembly on September 22, Pashinian complained that “some of our international partners are silent” about the Azerbaijani “aggression.”
In what may have been a related development, Armenia decided not to participate in CSTO military exercises which began in Kazakhstan on Monday. The Defense Ministry in Yerevan said the decision was made in view of “the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.”